Wednesday, 25 August 2010
O Rose thou art sick
I've been painting flowers, something I haven't done for a couple of years. I'd forgotten how quickly they change, coming into full bloom and then losing vitality and falling. That's to be expected, and the different types take different times - the sweet peas brought by a visitor lasted three days, if that. Even roses change every few hours, going through a process when you think they've opened fully but they continue to get bigger.
This makes painting them difficult to fit into an already busy schedule. Last time I did a series of flower sketches I used to come home from work reasonably early to catch a couple of hours of light, it being high summer. At the moment my painting practice is more to do an hour or so several days a week.
I quite like the idea that if something unexpected turns up I can rearrange my schedule to paint it before it disappears. The practice was a bit different, as I ran out of time with the roses and am going to have to finish them from a photograph. With both of these pictures I started with a very quick charcoal outline and painted some rough colours in to cover the whole canvas. Then when I returned the next day I could get more detail - working with the fact that the flowers had changed drastically overnight. Another time it might make more sense to get a more detailed alla prima painting done on day one, and maybe even several colour sketches over several days, but as I said, I am still a bit out of practice.